What’s that? More aubergines? Yes actually, and I make no apologies because this Aubergine and Ricotta Gnocchi Bake is so good that I think we can all forgive if I’ve been a little heavy on the aubergine recipes of late. The key to this dish comes down to two things. Firstly, the aubergine has to be fried beautifully to make sure it’s soft, silky and golden brown. Secondly, adding a handful of cherry tomatoes really transforms the tomato base as it adds a wonderful freshness and sweetness. This is such a delicious vegetarian dish and one that feels at home as much now, in the summer, as it would in the autumn.
There have been several aubergine themed recipes on the meal plan and blog recently, I just can’t seem to eat enough of them! The combination of aubergine and tomatoes is a hard one to beat, it’s one of my absolute favourites. Even better when the veggies are roasted to intensify the flavour and served with cheese. My roasted aubergine and tomato pasta is the culmination of many attempts to get it just right. Dicing the aubergine up like this not only means a quicker cooking time but more aubergine surface area to soak up all that olive oil.
Jerk seasoning has to be one of my favourites. No matter what time of year it is there’s always room for something to be cooked up with it; sticky jerk chicken in the autumn, a fiery casserole in the winter or when the new season arrives, jerk carrots. This recipe came out of a need to use up a whole load of carrots and I certainly didn’t want to make soup. I can see it working really well on the BBQ as a spicy veggie side in the coming weeks too. If you can get hold of new season spring carrots they are sweeter and smaller than carrots available later in the year and are ideal for this recipe.
I’m not ashamed. I will admit it. I am an aubergine-aholic. Babaganoush, parmigiana, in a curry, moussaka, stirred through pasta there isn’t any meal I don’t love which has aubergines in. This recipe may sound familiar, as I have made something similar before, but this miso glazed aubergine when combined with a quick pickled cucumber salad really is a match made in heaven. Depending on the size of your aubergines this takes around half an hour to make, a little longer if they are large and need more time in the oven.
It was one of those days where I wanted something simple but interesting. A dish which would take a few minutes to make and take plenty of time to enjoy eating it. I tried something similar to this artichoke and red pepper gratin when in France last year and have wanted to have a go at making it myself for ages. It’s a perfect recipe for a rainy Sunday afternoon and although made from a few simple ingredients is so much more than the sum of its parts.
You will need (for two greedy people or four less-so-greedy people):
I meal plan. Only the dinners mind you. I’d like to think I was organised enough to plan fantastic breakfasts and fabulous lunches but I’d much rather have longer in bed each morning than fuss around with an avocado and quickly grab something easy for lunch in the week. However, there are consequences to this nonchalant attitude of mine. What if disaster strikes? What if, as I enjoy my chicken sandwich for lunch I realise that chicken is on the meal plan for that night? It doesn’t bear thinking about. So I don’t; I have a very simple way round this predicament instead. Make lunches vegan, and if not vegan, vegetarian. Hello Carrot, Chickpea and Harissa Soup.
There’s been a spate of soup recipes appearing on my blog recently. I’ll tell you for why: because there’s nothing more comforting I would like to have for lunch during the week. Sure, a steaming bowl of cauliflower cheese would be a fantastic winter luncheon but that’s more effort than I am willing to put in for what is effectively the most rushed meal of the week. So instead I take a bit of time at the weekend and batch cook some soup, freeze it and reap the rewards in the weeks to come. This Smoked Pea and Potato Soup is probably one of my favourite soups of all; all the salty, smoky tang as if it had bacon or ham in but it’s vegan.
Sometimes I make something like a veggie stew or pasta sauce and realise that it could become a delicious soup with just a little extra water. That’s exactly how this Tomato, Butterbean and Spinach Pesto Soup came about. I had made it as a sauce for baking with gnocchi, similar to this recipe, and I thought it would make a great soup; something a bit different from a normal tomato soup. And I was right. Full of flavour, colour and easy to make from a few ingredients you probably already have in the cupboards.
Comforting, nourishing and wholesome; there’s nothing quite like a bowl of soup. It’s my lunch of choice, especially during the week when I want something quick and easy. I like to vary what I have with my soup and more often than not I don’t have it with bread, preferring to have a salad or some leftovers on the side. This recipe for roasted superfood salad works particularly well with Baxters new Super Good Chicken Noodle Soup because the turmeric, chillies and carrots in the soup mirror the flavours of the salad. The Baxters Super Good range is made to help you eat well and feel great; full of flavour and health-boosting ingredients.
I always think cauliflower is at its very best when served with cheese. As much as I think this is still true I have been really enjoying roasting and frying it lately and this cauliflower and sundried tomato pasta is my current favourite way to eat cauliflower. Cheap to make, vegan, delicious and so fast to cook; we’re talking 15 minutes from fridge to table. If only all weeknight cooking could be like this!
You will need (for four servings):
- 300g pasta £0.30
- 1 small romanesco (or other) cauliflower, chopped into small florets £1.50
- 6 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped £0.30
- 2 small garlic cloves, crushed £0.10
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil £0.15
- Pinch saffron £0.50
- Salt and pepper £0.02
You’ll need a pan full of boiling water with a steamer to go on top. It’s no problem if you don’t have a steamer; you’ll just need an extra pan of boiling water for the cauliflower.